"You will be an official representative of the Church. . . . Your purpose will be to invite others to come unto Christ . . . Greater blessings and more happiness than you have yet experienced await you as you humbly and prayerfully serve the Lord in this labor of love among His children. We place our confidence in you." Thomas S. Monson

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Tevi zozo

Our last District Meeting with Soeur Kouadio.  She goes home
tomorrow (08/05/14)!!!  We've been in two districts together for a total of 6
Hello all.  Well, it’s been a pretty interesting week!  There’s been lots going on, but what Elder Sahue and I have noticed the most is that the Lord is really starting to bless us for our efforts.  We haven’t seen too much progression in the past two months, but we’ve really trying to press forward in our area.  We have had several investigators that have been close to baptism, but none of them have really progressed like they’ve needed.

However, in the past two weeks, we have had five investigators explain that their questions are being answered and their worries are being resolved.  Two are preparing for marriage and then baptism with their daughter at the end of the month, and the other two have mentioned that they feel that they are progressing very well towards baptism.

So there have been a couple of cool experiences this week.  The first was on Tuesday, the 29th of July.  Last week at the cyber, we saw Prosper’s son.  He asked if we would be coming over again, and we told him we could around 7 on Tuesday evening.  So we went over with Brice (President Kazotti’s son), expecting him to have a couple of questions.  We sat down, and he asked (in English—he doesn’t speak French), “So what do you guys want to watch?” I was just like, “Uhhhhh…” So he put on Avengers Assemble on the Disney channel (they have a really good satellite package).  I didn’t really know what to say because he left right after he turned the TV on.  So my comp was like, “Well might as well put it on a sports channel.”  So I flipped through a bit and saw “The Commonwealth Games.”  Then, BAM.  Pool. In an arena.  On the TV.  We eight men swimming in lanes.  I was in shock.  Then I saw the “Men’s 100m Butterfly Final” in the bottom of the screen, so I was slightly intrigued.  They finished, and I saw lane 4 “1 Le Clos” (shocker…).  Then my eyes drifted to lane 6 “2 Schooling.” And I was like, “Wait… WHAAAAATTTTTTTTTTTTT??????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I KNOW HIM!!!!!!!!!” Haha.  Prosper’s wife had come out a couple minutes before because she did have a couple questions for us.  The Taylor family (members) had come over to talk with her about something else, but she wanted us to stay.  I was trying to explain to them that one of my friends was on TV and that I had trained with him every day when I was at home, but I’m not sure they really understood.

Anyways, thank goodness that was our last appointment because my mind was kinda blown.  I wrote about that in my journal that night, and then I remembered that it was around this time a year ago that I had seen Worlds on the TV in the cyber.  I looked in my journal, and I saw that it was EXACTLY one year earlier that that had happened, the 29th of July.  Coincidence? I think not!

The week was pretty normal after that until Saturday.  Elder Silvas had organized an activity to help two of their investigators raise money to be able to pay for their marriage.  So we all, the members and missionaries, put in some money to buy some ingredients, and then we set up a stand outside of the Branch building on the side of the main road in Fidjrossè to sell some Mexican and African food.  It was a blast!  We got some good attention (partially I think because of the two white guys that were selling food on the side of the road) and a diverse clientele.  My voice was completely shot at the end of the day after yelling “TEVI ZOZO!!!!” over and over (which means “HOT FRIED YAMS!!!!”).  That’s how you sell here.  You hear yells everywhere you go.  It’s like a giant baseball stadium, but without the baseball or the stadium.  Yeah.  We ended up losing 3,000 F CFA (6 US dollars), but it brought the Branch together, which we really needed.  Plus, all of the extra food we had was given to families in need in our Branch, so it was certainly no waste!

Elder Silvas and his guac!  It was delicious!
Donatien, me, Elder Méjean, and Elder Hanks all getting our Mexican
"chop" on!
Yesterday was very interesting.  Church went very well, but exhausting.  Our fast and testimony was fantastic!  There were so many people that bore their testimonies that have never gotten up before.  There were two women that bore their testimonies that can’t be baptized right now because of some marriage issues, but they come every Sunday.  They both bore their testimonies of how they know the Church is true, which gives them the patience to accept the Lord’s will and wait.  It was very edifying for all in attendance.

The Primary president had to leave during Sacrament meeting, which left no one in charge of Primary (the children’s meeting).  The Branch really takes to heart Elder Nelson’s October 2012 talk, so naturally the response was, “Let’s ask the missionaries!”  So, Elder Silvas (the other American in my district) and I got to Primary, and all the kids were all sitting nicely in their chairs.  Then we were like, “Well what the heck do we do?” “I don’t know.  Play a game?” “Ok sure, you take the younger kids and I’ll take the older ones.”  “Ok, ready?  BREAK!”  Two minutes later, the room was absolute chaos.  Kids hitting kids.  Shoes flying across the room.  Crying.  Screaming.  My tie almost getting ripped in half.  Finally I took off my tie and my watch to get down to business. I tried picking up as many kids as I could to get the chairs back in order, but there were too many of them.  I couldn’t shake them off!

After what felt like 20 minutes of telling myself, “They have their own agency. They are children of God, not lifeless objects and certainly not little devils.” I had Boyd K. Packer’s quote come to mind that “True doctrine understood will change behavior faster than the study of behavior will change behavior” or something along those lines.  So I thought, ok, all the kids that are behaving are already sitting. Let’s set up the chairs, START WITH A PRAYER, and then have a lesson. So we did, and things started to calm down.  I asked them about what they knew about the Book of Mormon, and we started to talk about Nephi when the Lord sent three angels disguised as a Relief Society Presidency to help. One of them exclaimed, “This is Primary! Why don’t I hear singing?!” Then I was like, “Oh, I forgot about that.  Ok we’ll finish quickly the lesson and then we’ll get to that.”  So I asked what they knew about Nephi, and they exclaim, “He built a boat!” “And who asked him to do that?” “Heavenly Father!” “And what was Nephi’s response?” “I will go and do!” “And what is your response if Heavenly Father asks you to do something?” “Yes! I will!”  It was amazing the difference of a heaven-sent lesson.  We then sang “Nephi’s Courage” to move into music time.

The most tender moment for me was when one girl stood and starting singing “I will Follow God’s Plan” when asked what her favorite Primary song was.  We all joined in (me in English), and the Spirit was tangible in the room.  I was so amazed at how that was possible, even in Primary.  Reverence had replace chaos.  I myself was so humbled by this experience.  The Lord had changed my heart.

That's been my week here!  I love you all so much!

Have a great week!

Avec amour,
Elder Jenkins

We were waiting for one of our investigators to get home from work,
so I started helping his (future) wife serve people rice!
This dude was riding around last week.
Oh the things you see on motos here.  Also, Benin just passed a law
that helmets are required on motos and all infractions will be
punished.  There have been some pretty creative "helmets".  The best
one was a small trash bin strapped on a guy's head.  I've seen an
equestrian helmet, a little girl's pink bike helmet, and a world war I
style helmet.  One of the best was this one guy that wore a helmet in
a car!

No comments:

Post a Comment